Monday, August 27, 2007

Kaptain Kris versus Pus Man and the Cajun Ninja

(Note: these did not all happen today, I'm just incorporating old posts from other sites to build up the blog)

So my day is barely half over and I've got an astonishing amount of library persons in a relative short amount of time.

Today I am at the Washington branch, which is located in an area of town known as "The Pit." Geographically speaking, it's the area inbetween UBC and downtown. It's not the worst area in terms of crime, but it's up there in regards to poverty. While not as inviting as the Riverview to the homeless population, it still gathers a surprisingly high number of interesting individuals.

The vast majority, and I mean the VAST majority of patrons are kids under the age of 13 who use the library as a sort of computer fun world. Since it's the summer and they aren't in school, by default, they go and hang out at the library. However, since there are so many of them, the computers begin to get in short supply, resulting in rowdiness and general fighting. Those that are on a computer usually try to go to Bebo, which is blocked, and then compromise by getting on music sites and blasting it to the max in their headphones. This causes much distraction to other patrons since the library is supposed to be a place of quiet. Yet, since the kids are deaf due to their prolonged exposure to music cranked all the way up to 11, attempts to tell them to be quiet or turn it down are fruitless. One kid in particular, who I have named Deafy McDeaferson, has been here every time that I've worked at the Washingon Branch, from open to close. He is the worst offender to the "turning up music til your ears bleed" rule. Even worse, he always chooses crappy local myspace music, the type that have serious sound editing problems, so in addition to the sheer volume, you are offended by the poor job done by the sound mixer and the fact that the beat keeps changing. (I swear, this one song had at least 10 time signature changes during a single verse. How the hell is anyone supposed to rap over that?)

As many of them as there are, it's not the kids that make Washington unique or different. No, it's the Washington street people, who are a completely different breed than your average downtown homeless. A prime example was this man who came in this morning to print out something from the computer. He came to where I was working at the reference desk and asked why nothing was printing for him. This was an understandable question since the library switched over to a new printing system which requires patrons to set up an account. It's fairly complicated to set up, but once it's done, print jobs are a snap and the patron no longer has to pay for copies or print outs. But this guy was having a problem setting his up, which most patrons have had, so I went over to see if I could help him get it done.

As I approach the printer where the touch screen console is giving this guy grief, a pugnent aroma fills my nostils. This guy smells. Bad. But it's a new type of stench, one that I haven't smelled yet from a homeless person. In my experience, most homeless people either smell like they haven't had a bath in a very long while or some sort of substance (liquor, pot, etc.) But this guy reeked of pus. That's right, pus. Like he was currenting harboring a giant festering infection. It was the second worst thing I've ever smelled in my entire life. And then he opened his mouth to talk to me and that's when the worst thing I've ever smelled in my life hit me, his breath. In addition to the horrendous pus smell, his breath had just a hint of rotten eggs and foot fungus. Trying my best to breathe through my mouth and not vomit. I start to run the guy through the steps to create an account. So we get to the part where he has to put in the first 4 letters of his last name. I prompt him to do so, and he goes "Lockhart, H-A-R-T." As you might expect, it doesn't work. So again it comes up to put in the first 4 letters, and I tell him "You need the first four letters, so L-O-C-K." and he goes "I'm not stupid! I know how to spell my own damn name! H-A-R-T!" and surprise, surprise, it doesn't work. His response "DAMMIT!" Once again, the accursed last name prompt reappears and I tactfully go "Well, sometimes the touch screen can be fickle, let me try. Your last name is Lockhart?" To which replies, "Yes. Spelled H-A-R-T." I type in L-O-C-K and what do you know, it lets him through. He finally gets his print job and goes back to the computers, where the sounds of "Ima Money Hu$tla" by MC Random MySpace Rapper are causing vibrations to be felt on the reference desk.

But that's not the end of Pus-Man. He comes back to the references desk and starts ranting at me that I'm not going to get my inherentence on July 31st because I haven' t been taking away people's print jobs. In addition he pulls out the pages he printed, which he claims are legal documents that make him the heir of the huge sum of $17,000, which I'm not going to get because I didn't do something with the printer. He's not mad that I'm robbing him of his inhertence. No, he's ranting cause I'm robbing myself. In a final act of defiance, he slams his fist down on the reference desk, which leaves a small pool of sweat/pus/some body fluid I don't even want to know about. I try my best to clean the fluid puddle and spray the area with lysol, but the aromatic gift he left me still stinks as I type this.

As interesting as Pus-Man was, he wasn't the most memoriable person at the library today. No, that honor belongs to a man who I shall call the Cajun Ninja. I've gotten pretty good at recongizing the relative craziness of a person as they walk through the door. For the most part, everyone who comes in is a mentally healthly, ordinary individual. But when someone comes in wearing a painters mask and goggles, you make a mental note that "Hey, this person isn't all there in the head. I might need to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't cause too much trouble." So around 10 this morning, a stereotypical Cajun looking dude comes in, a young guy, maybe a few years older than me. I didn't think too much about it until I took a closer look. My first clue of his wackiness was the fact his hair was up in a top-knot. And then I noticed that he wasn't wearing shoes, just black slippers. I notice that these slippers have a split-toe design. Then I fully realized that he was wearing an all-black homemade ninja gi, complete with a cod-piece cover supported by safety pins. He goes and gets on a computer. About an hour later he comes up and asks me if we have any books on pressure points of the human body or ninjitsu. I do a general search and tell him the call number where books on that subject would be found. Granted, Washingtonh is a small library and the selection wouldn't be that great, but there's a few books on Karate and other martial arts. I showed them where they were. He bowed and went on his way.

Or so I thought. About 5 minutes later, he comes back and says that there weren't any books about pressure points, and he really needs them because he's studying to become a ninja. And that he's been training since he's been 2 years old, but his training really started when he was still in the crib, watching ninja movies. Apparently his teacher is his step-father, who was the first white man to become a master at ninjistu. The style that he practices is called "Swamp Gator" Ninja style since and I quote "it gives him the strength and agility of a tiger." He then asks if I'm into Martial Arts, to which I honestly reply that I really Kung-Fu movies, but I'm not a practioner. I mentioned that I recently saw some stuff with Tony Jaa in it and it impressed me. To which my new ninja friend replies that martial arts movies give you some of the best instruction and that his dad beat Tony Jaa in a ninja sparring match. Never mind that Tony Jaa is a Muay Thai kick-boxer and has no connection to Japan, Boudreaux-san's dad kicked his ass with his Tiger speed from Swamp Gator style. After showing him a few books on human anatomy, which had some information on pressure points, he says that he wishes that he could use his martial arts knowledge to protect himself but that "The BCPD won't let me due to all the assassinations." I give a quizzical look at the assassinations claim and he responds "Oh yeah, (Names 3 very much alive local politcal personalities) and Ron Howard. That was all me. But don't tell anyone." (Let alone that all of these individuals are still alive. Maybe he's got a vendetta against Southern politicians and the stars of "Happy Days") He then gave a bow and asked where on the internet he could find out about ninja weapons. I told him that I couldn't think of any sites right off the top of my head, but a google search should help him get some ideas. He bows again and asks if the main library has more books on martial arts. I told him that the main library is much larger and would have lots more books than the Washington branch would. He then bows again, much lower and thanks me for all my help. He then proceeds to rise back up, spin, give a little flying leap, and starts to kinda "Ninja run" while ducking out the door. Like I said. It's its own brand of crazy.


The Cajun Ninja came back! I suppose some of his ninja training must be legit because I didn't see him come in the door, all the sudden he appeared at a computer several hours after vanishing from the library via ninja sprint. He was searching cosplay sites, and major shocker here, he was looking for ninja pictures. He also informed me that he finally found a website detailing the pressure points of the human body. He kept to himself for the rest of his session, but I was able to look at his cosplay browsing, which quickly took a turn for the bizzare when he discovered pictures of female cosplayers. One in particular he became enamored of. She was dressed as the character Starfire from the anime "Teen Titans." I knew this fact not because I've ever watched the show, but by the fact that the theme music was blaring in his headphones, which was a welcome change from MC Myspace. After picking out a few pictures that he liked, he proceeded to prep them for printing, but before doing so, he added his own hysterical twist.

He wrote poetry on top of them.

Yes, he wrote poems professing his undying love for the character and by proxy, the girl dressed up as her. I knew the subject matter of the poem not because I was looking over his shoulder, even though it wouldn't have been too hard since he was using something like size 20 font. No, he was reading and rereading it aloud to himself. Now, i'm sure in his mind, he was speaking quietly, not daring to let the world in on his unrequited love. But his private infatuation was ruined by the fact that the volume of the "Teen Titans" theme song forced him to speak over it. What came out was a blurring and slurring of his love note coupled with a very repetative theme song. It sounded a little something like this:

Cajun Ninja: "From star light afar, you came to set my heart..."
Music: "Go Teen Titans! Go Tee.."
Cajun Ninja: "...nd yet my heart is presented unto you, if only you'd..."
Music: "Aaaaaaaa! Teen Titans! Go Teen Titans!"
Cajun Ninja: "...ttom of my ninja loins..."Music: "...een Titans!"

Finally, after it looked like the rest of the computer users were about to actually die of laughter (which luckily he never heard. I'd hate to be the subject of another one of his assassinations) I asked him to turn down his volume a tad. He bowed and complied. Soon after, he printed out his poetic masterpiece, along with pictures of an underaged cosplayer in revealing clothing, and left the library. However, instead of throwing down a smoke bomb or anything, he simply walked out the door, with no flurish of ninja skill.

I either get paid too much or too little for this job

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